CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Facebook Launches Messenger for the Web

Facebook has launched the Messenger platform on the web as a standalone website located at Messenger.com. It allows a distraction-free view of all messages from Facebook friends with loading in the News Feed and other features.

Messenger has become more than just a way to message someone, with Facebook opening the floodgates to developers wanting to make third-party applications over-the-top of Messenger.

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The first 20 have already been added to Messenger but Facebook expects a couple hundred more by the end of the year. That should make Messenger a strong contender in the East where OTT messaging platforms are particularly popular.

Even with the separation on the web, Facebook intends to keep its chat service available on the regular homepage unlike mobile. Last year, Facebook annoyed people by dropping support for messaging on the main client, forcing people to download Messenger.

It's not confirmed if Facebook will drop messaging from the main client on the web. We can't see a real reason considering the client runs quickly regardless of whether people are talking on Messenger or not, unlike on the mobile client where messaging took big chunks from the available memory.

Facebook launched separate clients for Messenger back in 2011, allowing users to download from Google Chrome, IE and Mozilla Firefox. These were discontinued after low usage with desktop users opting for the full Facebook homepage rather than a specific messaging client.

Even though almost all Messenger users are on mobile nowadays, we don't expect Messenger on the web to be a breakthrough for Facebook users. In fact, we expect it to fail just like the previous web clients because desktop users can load Facebook perfectly fine.

WhatsApp -- a subsidiary of Facebook -- announced its own web client a few months ago. It allows WhatsApp owners to message on desktop but they still need to input a phone number in order to access the web client.

Facebook hasn't detailed its long term plan for WhatsApp, currently sitting on 750 million active monthly users. Messenger seems to be trying to move to be more than just a messaging app, while WhatsApp offers different ways to message someone, either through voice, text or video.

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